Eligible working families whose children will be aged between 9 and 23 months old on 31 August can now apply to receive 15 hours childcare starting from September 2024.

Find out more information on the Childcare Choices website

Early Years

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are statutory and are referenced in the EYFS (2023).

They are referred to in the Overarching Principles section on page 6 and section 1.15 states that:

‘In planning and guiding what children learn, practitioners must reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things’

They are also referred to in section 2.12:

‘Year 1 teachers must be given a copy of the Profile report. Reception teachers, or early years practitioners where the Profile has been completed for a child who has remained in Ofsted registered early years provision, may choose to provide a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective teaching and learning (see paragraph 1.15). These should help inform a dialogue between reception and year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities in year 1.’

The emphasis on how children learn has huge potential to transform early years practice and empower children as confident, creative lifelong learners. Research demonstrates these characteristics can be supported or hampered by the experiences children encounter. In the best EYFS provision, children are encouraged to follow their interests, make independent choices about their learning, and are supported to develop their thinking skills through skillful adult interactions.

The following guidance documents may support you in understanding this important aspect of provision:

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